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Coconut Cupcakes with Passionfruit Icing

These deliciously dense coconut cupcakes are infused with passionfruit syrup and topped with passionfruit icing and a coconut meringue.

Anyone ready for sunshine?? Goodness, winter in Indiana always seems to last forever. I was craving tropical, sunshiny flavors, and that is what inspired these treats. I did two versions… the confetti version (above) and the classier silver sprinkle version:

I first fell in love with passionfruit in the country of Peru. I was visiting my friend Deb, and we had an incredible visit to both Machu Picchu and the jungles of the Amazon. In both places, we had maracuya juice and delicious desserts made with the same fruit. I later learned that maracuya is passionfruit and I began to search for it in every possible place in the US. Paired with coconut, it creates just the *best* tropical dessert.

I’ve been wanting to add little meringues to the top of cupcakes for awhile now, and these seemed like the perfect opportunity. For sure, they are decorative, and you would not *have* to do these, but they add a little bit of coconut crunch on the top, and make the cupcakes soooo cute!

Want the recipe?

Let’s start with the meringues. Feel free to skip these, if you want- you can simply add sprinkles to the frosting to save time! (Printable recipe)

Meringue Ingredients: (makes 24-30 meringues)

  • 4 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • fun sprinkles

Meringue Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 225F and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Combine egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Use an electric mixer and mix on low speed until mixture becomes foamy.
  • Increase speed to high, and gradually add sugar, about 1 Tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition until sugar is dissolved (about 15-20 seconds between each addition).
  • Beat until mixture is thick, shiny, and has increased in volume. Mixture should have stiff peaks and sugar should be completely dissolved.
  • Add coconut extract and mix until combined.
  • Fit a piping tip (I used a large star tip) into a piping bag or a large zip-top bag, and pipe meringues on parchment paper (close- they do not expand). Sprinkle with confetti sprinkles or silver balls.
  • Bake on 225F for 1 hour. Turn off the oven once the baking time is over, and do not open the oven. Leave the oven door closed and allow cookies to cool completely in the oven (1-2 hours) before removing. Once cooled, these can be stored in an airtight container for a few days before using.

Ready for that cupcake recipe? Here it is: (printable recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

Cupcakes: (makes 24 cupcakes)

  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of shredded coconut (finely chopped)plus a little to sprinkle on cupcakes at the end
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 4 egg whites and 1 egg yolk at room temp
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/2 cup cream of coconut, plus about 1/4 cup to brush over tops of cupcakes.
  • 2 tablespoons water

Icing:

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter
  • 1 stick (1/2 c) unsalted butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup of passionfruit syrup

DIRECTIONS:

Cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 325F
  • Add flour, sugar, baking powder, chopped coconut, and salt to a large mixing bowl and using an electric mixer combine these dry ingredients well.
  • Melt butter in microwave and add to dry ingredients. Mix until combined.
  • In a smaller bowl, whisk together the rest of ingredients.
  • Slowly add half of liquid mixture to dry, while mixing on medium.  Mix until completely combined.
  • Slowly add the rest of the liquid and mix on high for about a minute until well combined.
  • Divide batter into 24 cupcake liners in cupcake tins.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean.
  • Allow cupcakes to cool in pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Poke holes into tops of each cupcake and use a pastry brush to brush coconut cream on top of each cupcake. Be generous- this will make your cupcake nice and moist.
  • Allow coconut cream to soak in while you make icing.

Icing:

  • Add all ingredients into a mixing bowl and combine with a mixer on low.  Then whip on high until light and fluffy.
  • Frosting will be a pale yellow color. If you want it to be more vivid, add a little yellow food coloring.
  • Pipe icing on top of each cupcake using large star tip in a piping bag.  Evenly divide icing among the 24 cupcakes.
  • Place a meringue on the top of each cupcake, and sprinkle a little chopped coconut on the frosting.
  • Enjoy!

My thoughts: These are a little fussy with the meringues, but aren’t they SO cute??? We kept these covered in a cupcake container, and even almost a week later, the meringues were still crisp and delicious. I thought they might get a little soggy, but they really stored well. We also love the passion fruit syrup in lots of other things besides these cupcakes! It’s delicious in tea, we added some to our orange juice at breakfast, and I’m already thinking of other ways I can use this amazing flavor in other desserts! I hope you get a chance to try these delicious, tropical cupcakes soon! Enjoy! ~r

Looking for other tropical/ summery recipes to brighten your cold winter days? Here are a few we love (click on the title to see the recipe):

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